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Reports on Progress in Physics

Matthias Vojta
This review article is devoted to the interplay between frustrated magnetism and quantum critical phenomena, covering both theoretical concepts and ideas as well as recent experimental developments in correlated-electron materials. The first part deals with local-moment magnetism in Mott insulators and the second part with frustration in metallic systems. In both cases, frustration can either induce exotic phases accompanied by exotic quantum critical points or lead to conventional ordering with unconventional crossover phenomena...
March 15, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Frank Jülicher, Stephan W Grill, Guillaume Salbreux
We review the general hydrodynamic theory of active soft materials that is motivated in partic- ular by biological matter. We present basic concepts of irreversible thermodynamics of spatially extended multicomponent active systems. Starting from the rate of entropy production, we iden- tify conjugate thermodynamic fluxes and forces and present generic constitutive equations of polar active fluids and active gels. We also discuss angular momentum conservation which plays a role in the the physics of active chiral gels...
March 15, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Vedran Dunjko, Hans J Briegel
Quantum information technologies, on the one side, and intelligent learning
 systems, on the other, are both emergent technologies that will likely have a
 transforming impact on our society in the future.
 The respective underlying fields of basic research -- quantum information (QI) versus
 machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)
 -- have their own specific questions and challenges, which have hitherto been
 investigated largely independently. However, in a growing body of recent work,
 researchers have been probing the question to what extent these fields can indeed
 learn and benefit from each other...
March 5, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Federico Gnesotto, Federica Mura, Jannes Gladrow, Chase Broedersz
Living systems operate far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Enzymatic activity can induce broken detailed balance at the molecular scale. This molecular scale breaking of detailed balance is crucial to achieve biological functions such as high-fidelity transcription and translation, sensing, adaptation, biochemical patterning, and force generation. While biological systems such as motor enzymes violate detailed balance at the molecular scale, it remains unclear how non-equilibrium dynamics manifests at the mesoscale in systems that are driven through the collective activity of many motors...
March 5, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Andrew J A James, Robert M Konik, Philippe Lecheminant, Neil J Robinson, Alexei M Tsvelik
We review two important non-perturbative approaches for extracting the physics of low-dimensional strongly correlated quantum systems. Firstly, we start by providing a comprehensive review of non-Abelian bosonization. This includes an introduction to the basic elements of conformal field theory as applied to systems with a current algebra, and we orient the reader by presenting a number of applications of non-Abelian bosonization to models with large symmetries. We then tie this technique into recent advances in the ability of cold atomic systems to realize complex symmetries...
February 26, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Hu Zhan, J Anthony Tyson
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is a high etendue imaging facility that is being constructed atop Cerro Pachon in Northern Chile. It is scheduled to begin science operations in 2022. With an 8.4m (6.5m effective) aperture, a novel three-mirror design achieving a seeing-limited 9.6deg^2 field of view, and a 3.2 Gigapixel camera, the LSST has the deep-wide-fast imaging capability necessary to carry out an 18,000deg^2 survey in six passbands (ugrizy) to a coadded depth of r~27.5 over 10 years using 90% of its observational time...
February 23, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Xingjiang Zhou, Shaolong He, Guodong Liu, Lin Zhao, Li Yu, Wentao Zhang
We review the newly-emerging laser-based photoemission techniques and their scientific applications in studying angle-resolved/time-resolved/spin-resolved electronic structures of various quantum materials. We will present the advantages and disadvantages of laser-ARPES, its latest development and future directions.
February 20, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Maurice Garcia-Sciveres, N Wermes
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments ATLAS and CMS have established hybrid pixel detectors as the instrument of choice for particle tracking and vertexing in high rate and radiation environments, as they operate close to the LHC interaction points. With the High Luminosity-LHC upgrade now in sight, for which the tracking detectors will be completely replaced, new generations of pixel detectors are being devised. They have to address enormous challenges in terms of data throughput and radiation levels, ionizing and non-ionizing, that harm the sensing and readout parts of pixel detectors alike...
February 19, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Gil-Ho Lee, Hu-Jong Lee
This review discusses the electronic properties and the prospective research directions of superconductor-graphene heterostructures. The basic electronic properties of graphene are introduced to highlight the unique possibility of combining two seemingly unrelated physics, superconductivity and relativity. We then focus on graphene-based Josephson junctions, one of the most versatile superconducting quantum devices. The various theoretical methods that have been developed to describe graphene Josephson junctions are examined, together with their advantages and limitations, followed by a discussion on the advances in device fabrication and the relevant length scales...
February 16, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Markus Heyl
Quantum theory provides an extensive framework for the description of the equilibrium properties of quantum matter. Yet experiments in quantum simulators have now opened up a route towards generating quantum states beyond this equilibrium paradigm. While these states promise to show properties not constrained by equilibrium principles such as the equal a priori probability of the microcanonical ensemble, identifying general properties of nonequilibrium quantum dynamics remains a major challenge especially in view of the lack of conventional concepts such as free energies...
February 15, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Tyler Earnest, John Andrew Cole, Zaida Luthey-Schulten
The last few decades have revealed the living cell to be a crowded spatially heterogeneous space teeming with biomolecules whose concentrations and activities are governed by intrinsically random forces. It is from this randomness, however, that a vast array of precisely timed and intricately coordinated biological functions emerge that give rise to the complex forms and behaviors we see in the biosphere around us. This seemingly paradoxical nature of life has drawn the interest of an increasing number of physicists, and recent years have seen stochastic modeling grow into a major subdiscipline within biological physics...
February 9, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Gordon Baym, Tetsuo Hatsuda, Tatsuyuki Takatsuka
In recent years our understanding of neutron stars has advanced remarkably, thanks to research converging from many directions. The importance of understanding neutron star behavior and structure has been underlined by the recent direct detection of gravitational radiation from merging neutron stars. The clean identification of several heavy neutron stars, of order two solar masses, challenges our current understanding of how dense matter can be sufficiently stiff to support such a mass against gravitational collapse...
February 9, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Yun-Yi Pai, Anthony Tylan-Tyler, Patrick Irvin, Jeremy Levy
This review provides a summary of the rich physics expressed within SrTiO3-based heterostructures and nanostructures. The intended audience is researchers who are working in the field of oxides, but also those with different backgrounds (e.g., semiconductor nanostructures). After reviewing the relevant properties of SrTiO3 itself, we will then discuss the basics of SrTiO3-based heterostructures, how they can be grown, and how devices are typically fabricated. Next, we will cover the physics of these heterostructures, including their phase diagram and coupling between the various degrees of freedom...
February 9, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Louis Strigari
Indirect dark matter searches targeting dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) have matured rapidly during the past decade. This has been because of the substantial increase in kinematic data sets from the dSphs, the new dSphs that have been discovered, and the operation of the Fermi-LAT and many ground-based gamma-ray experiments. Here we review the analysis methods that have been used to determine the dSph dark matter distributions, in particular the ``J-factors," comparing and contrasting them, and detailing the underlying systematics that still affect the analysis...
February 9, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
A R Hall, M Geoghegan
This review updates recent progress in the understanding of the behaviour of polymers at surfaces and interfaces, highlighting examples in the areas of wetting, dewetting, crystallization, and 'smart' materials. Recent developments in analysis tools have yielded a large increase in the study of biological systems, and some of these will also be discussed, focussing on areas where surfaces are important. These areas include molecular binding events and protein adsorption as well as the mapping of the surfaces of cells...
January 25, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Sergei V Kalinin, Yunseok Kim, Dillon D Fong, Anna N Morozovska
For over 70 years, ferroelectric materials have been one of the central research topics for condensed matter physics and material science, an interest driven both by fundamental science and applications. However, ferroelectric surfaces, the key component of ferroelectric films and nanostructures, still present a significant theoretical and even conceptual challenge. Indeed, stability of ferroelectric phase per se necessitates screening of polarization charge. At surfaces, this can lead to coupling between ferroelectric and semiconducting properties of material, or with surface (electro) chemistry, going well beyond classical models applicable for ferroelectric interfaces...
January 25, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Christopher Bauerle, Christian Glattli, Tristan Meunier, Fabien Portier, Patrice Roche, Preden Roulleau, Shintaro Takada, Xavier Waintal
In this report we review the present state of the art of the control of propagating quantum states at the single electron level and its potential application to quantum information processing. We give an overview of the different approaches which have been developed over the last years in order to gain full control over a propagating single electron in a solid state system. After a brief introduction of the basic concepts, we present experiments on ying qubit circuits for ensemble of electrons measured in the low frequency (DC) limit...
January 22, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Mohammad Rezwan Habib, Tao Liang, Xuegong Yu, Xiaodong Pi, Yingchun Liu, Mingsheng Xu
Graphene has attracted intense research interest due to its extraordinary properties and great application potential. Various methods have been proposed for the synthesis of graphene, among which chemical vapor deposition has drawn a great deal of attention for synthesizing large-area and high-quality graphene. Theoretical understanding of the synthesis mechanism is crucial for optimizing the experimental design for desired graphene production. In this review, we discuss the three fundamental steps of graphene synthesis in details, i...
January 22, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Gang Cao, Pedro Schlottmann
Effects of spin-orbit interactions in condensed matter are an important and rapidly evolving topic. Strong competition between spin-orbit, on-site Coulomb and crystalline electric field interactions in iridates drives exotic quantum states that are unique to this group of materials. In particular, the "Jeff = ½" Mott state served as an early signal that the combined effect of strong spin-orbit and Coulomb interactions in iridates has unique, intriguing consequences. In this Key Issues Review, we survey some current experimental studies of iridates...
January 22, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Joseph Falson, Masashi Kawasaki
This review visits recent experimental efforts on high mobility two-dimensional electron systems (2DES) hosted at the Mg<sub><i>x</i></sub>Zn<sub>1-<i>x</i></sub>O/ZnO heterointerface. We begin with the growth of these samples, and highlight the key characteristics of ozone-assisted molecular beam epitaxy required for their production. The transport characteristics of these structures are found to rival that of traditional semiconductor material systems, as signified by the high electron mobility (<i>μ</i> > 1,000,000 cm<sup>2</sup>/Vs) and rich quantum Hall features...
January 22, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
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